About Me

Tim Thornton


My initial career was in yacht design, as an engineer and designer, though with time this has morphed more into maths and IT (see www.teamsurv.com if you are interested), so in 2009 I took up ceramics as a counterbalance to staring at computer screens all day. I particularly like the immediacy of the making, with the tactile, sensual feel of the clay under my fingers - but the alchemy of developing glazes also appeals to my more technical and analytical approach.

I have always been interested in the nexus between technology, design, and the underlying aesthetical, philosophical and psychological questions as to why a design is successful, attractive, collectable, valuable or whatever. 

I am increasingly interested in the history of ceramics, and how the techniques and technology have been discovered, lost or discarded, and often rediscovered again. As part of this, I recreate historic glazes, e.g. Chinese oil spot glazes from the 12th Century, or Uranium based glazes from the 19th Century, and apply them in a modern context.

Ceramics provides rich pickings for all of these aspects, sitting between art and craft; functional and decorative; factory made and individual, labour intensive works; commodity item or priceless work of art.


I started exploring ceramics in 2009 with Sally Bettridge at her evening classes at Peter Symonds College in Winchester, which was a great way to explore the potential of clay over a few years. To widen my perspective, I then went to Mirka Golden-Hann's classes at Salisbury Arts Centre. Then in 2012 I set up my own studio.

Since then, as well , as avid reading and research, attending galleries, exhibitions and demonstrations, I have had classes with the following: